Hatchet has not always been so detached from man’s ordinary, workday endeavors. When the earliest settlers moved into the area in the 1830’s they immediately recognized Hatchet and its swift flowing tributaries as prime sources of power. Rough stone dams were thrown across the creek at strategic spots and mills were constructed for grinding corn, ginning cotton, sawing lumber and weaving cloth. Old time residents estimate there were once as many as 30 water powered mills along the main course of the creek and a number of others on its tributaries. With the advent of electricity and modern transportation, the water powered mills on Hatchet became obsolete and were abandoned one by one. All of the mill dams have now long since been swept away by spring floods and only the moss covered stone foundations of the mills, overgrown with trees and wild grapevines, remain to commemorate the days when Hatchet was the industrial artery of Coosa and Clay counties.
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